Danville man publishes nearly 70 years of songs, poetry – L’Avocat-Messenger

Danville man publishes nearly 70 years of songs, poetry

Posted 10:19 a.m. on Tuesday, September 6, 2022


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Mark S. Lister has been writing songs and poetry for nearly 70 years.

A resident of Danville, Lister recently wanted to ensure that his works could be cherished and enjoyed not just by his family, but by everyone in Danville and beyond, so he had his works published under the title “Songs, Poems and Random Thoughts”.

Lister said he first got into music in high school, where he studied clarinet and began writing music shortly after graduation. He soon switched to guitar because, he says, it was an instrument better suited for a solo act. He started writing songs and playing in various bars around Danville and Lexington.

“I really had no idea what it was going to do, it was a pleasant surprise,” he said.

Lister said he wasn’t sure what to expect, but was pleased with the reception of his book and album. More … than 60 copies were sold solely through word of mouth.

The album contains eight songs with topics that involve love, heartbreak and more. The aptly named Danville Song is an ode to his hometown and tells his story and why it is known as the city of firsts. Another song from the album titled Santa’s Vacation, is a Christmas song with a twist. Lister said he thought Santa was tired of the snow and the cold, so he wrote a song where Santa goes waterskiing in Miami for New Years.

Lister started working as a salesman after graduating from high school and spent 20 years traveling around the state. He spent the next 15 years in real estate and construction in Lexington, then another 30 in public service with the Veterans Administration before retiring in 2007.

Throughout his life, Lister had many interesting experiences during his musical career.

“I was sitting in the front row and John Harrison was singing his songs and I was singing with him in the audience,” he said.

Harrison heard him sing and dragged him on stage.

“I got up, he played and I sang and I got a standing ovation,” he said. “He said he wouldn’t bring me back on stage again. It’s one of the funniest things I can remember.

Lister said he had many more songs and poems that went unpublished, and was considering a second volume.

For more information about his writing or music, contact the Danville-Boyle County Convention and Visitors Bureau at 134 S. 2nd St. in Danville, or contact Mark Lister at 859-236-1073.

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